Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Crew Joins Expedition 40 on ISS

Soyuz spacecraft faces the ISS (image from a previous mission).

Blasting off at night from Kazakhstan, Soyuz TMA-13M lifted off for a rendezvous with the ISS and the Expedition 40 crew already aboard. On the Soyuz were Soyuz Commander Max Suraev, astronaut Reid Wiseman, and ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. The flight used the new "shortcut" orbital approach so that instead of 2 days, the capsule arrived at the station around six hours later. Docking occurred at 9:44 PM EDT and the hatches opened a couple of hours later. The new orbital approach means that it takes less time for astronauts to get to the ISS than it does for some overseas airline flights!

The full crew of Expedition 40. 

The new crew joins Expedition Commander Steve Swanson and flight engineers Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov who had arrived March 27. The Soyuz is docked at the Russian mini-research module Rassvet. The ISS is orbiting at about 290 miles above the Earth. 

You can read complete details about the launch and arrival at:

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